The Specter of Speciesism: Buddhist and Christian Views of Animals

Hardcover | September 15, 2001

byPaul Waldau

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This new study looks at how non-human animals have been viewed in the Buddhist and Christian religious traditions. The concept of speciesism, coined in 1970 as an analogy to racism and discussed almost exclusively within philosophical circles, is used to explore very basic questions aboutwhich animals, human or otherwise, were significant to early Buddhists and Christians. Drawing on scriptures and interpretive traditions in Christianity and Buddhism, Waldau argues that decisions about human ethical responsibilities in both religions are deeply rooted in ancient understandings ofthe place of humans in the world and our relationships with other animals in an integrated cosmos. His study offers scholars and others interested in the bases for ethical decisions new insights into Christian and Buddhist reasoning about animals as well as what each might have to offer to thecurrent discussions about animal rights and environmental ethics.

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This new study looks at how non-human animals have been viewed in the Buddhist and Christian religious traditions. The concept of speciesism, coined in 1970 as an analogy to racism and discussed almost exclusively within philosophical circles, is used to explore very basic questions aboutwhich animals, human or otherwise, were signific...

Paul Waldau holds a doctorate in ethics from Oxford University, a law degree from UCLA, and a Master's Degree from Stanford University. He is currently Assistant Clinical Professor at Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine, where he is on the faculty of the Center for Animals and Public Policy. He teaches courses entitled "Jur...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:320 pages, 9.29 × 6.3 × 1.3 inPublished:September 15, 2001Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195145712

ISBN - 13:9780195145717

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"This is a careful and detailed examination of Buddhist and Christian understandings of non-human animal life, going back to the canonical sources, and reaching the conclusion that, contrary to the opinion of many, both traditions have been equally 'speciesist'. Dr. Waldau's persuasivearguments will have to be taken into account by everyone concerned with this issue."-John Hick, Fellow of the Institute for Advanced Research in Arts and Social Sciences, University of Birmingham, UK